Indian army troops kill Pakistan girl in Kashmir

An Indian policeman aims a gun towards the protesters during clashes after the Eid al-Adha prayers in Srinagar, 2 September 2017 Photo: REUTERS/Danish Ismail

MUZAFFARABAD - A five-year-old Pakistani girl was killed on Saturday after she was hit in the head by a bullet fired by Indian troops across the border in disputed Kashmir, officials said.

The incident took place in Polas village at Abbaspur sector on the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing Kashmir between nuclear-armed rivals Pakistan and India.

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"A five-year-old girl was walking outside her house when a lone bullet fired by Indian troops pierced through her head," local government official Tahir Mumtaz told AFP.

The girl was rushed to hospital but died on the way, he said, adding that villagers held a protest rally and condemned the firing on the day they were celebrating Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival of sacrifice.

Another government official Sardar Sajid confirmed the casualty.

Kashmir has been divided between Indian and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.

The neighbours regularly exchange mortar fire across the border despite signing a ceasefire in 2003.

Tensions reached dangerous levels last September, with both sides blaming one another for cross-border raids.

There have since been repeated outbreaks of firing across the frontier, with both sides reporting deaths and injuries including of civilians.

In November, at least nine people were killed when Indian cross-border fire hit a passenger bus in the Neelum Valley, the same region where four Pakistani troops were allegedly killed.

Rebel groups have for decades fought the more than 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the restive territory, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.

AFP

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